The environmental and social costs of consumer societies have increasingly been recognized. Achieving sustainable household consumption requires an understanding of the underlying roots of current consumption levels. Using the case study of menstrual care practices, different theoretical frameworks—or narratives—for understanding household consumption are evaluated. The author argues that theories of consumption that focus on individual choice based on assessments of convenience or cleanliness, or only on cultural imperatives need to be expanded to take account of the wider political–economic context. Using commoditization theory helps explain not only why mass-produced, disposable menstrual products are dominant in free market societies but also why certain theories of consumption are more prevalent.